LISTEN TO AMY’s MUSIC ON SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/amyclarke/
Album Review From Alex Ramon of Boycotting Trends in the UK:
CD Review: A New Way, by Amy Clarke (2017)
Though composed and developed over a number of years, the thirteen carefully crafted songs that make up Amy Clarke’s debut album A New Way form a compelling and cohesive whole. As its title suggests, this is a record that’s concerned with transition and change – its difficulties, challenges, opportunities – and Clarke approaches the theme from a variety of perspectives, offering character portraits, relationship confessionals and spiritual ruminations while sustaining an intimate, confiding tone throughout.
A single, stark piano note ushers in the arresting opener “Rain Come Round”: the song then picks up pace with rolling percussion and an urgent vocal as Clarke anticipates a tempest to come: “Tornados, I have lived where they land/ But this time I am not frightened/I have built a better border/and I’m safe here from your storm.”
A New Way is indeed heavily piano-based: the classically trained Clarke is a versatile and creative player who combines jazz, rock, pop and classical elements in her arrangements. Liner note thanks expressed to Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan (with whom Clarke has collaborated) feel apt; in fact, at times the album seems to set up a warm sisterly dialogue with Amos’s just-released latest record, Native Invader [review], in its potent exploration of feminist and ecological themes. The connection is especially evident on the beautiful centrepiece “Between the Ice and the Ocean”, with its “Reindeer King”-evoking imagery, and on “We Are the Web,” an ardent plea for unity between humans and the natural world: “we must listen to each other/listen to our Mother/to heal her and to make her whole.”
A New Way on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/a-new-way/id1275973364
All music by Amy Clarke on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/amy-clarke/id159679346